better homes than yours · DIY · Kids · parenting · The COVID files

Day 12: Our renovation was pointless.

For those of you just joining me here, two years ago we gutted our 3-bedroom bungalow and topped up with a second storey and usable attic. The kids were excited for many reasons, but top of the list was that they wouldn’t have to sleep three to a room anymore.

Fast forward to tonight. Three of my children are sleeping not only in the same room, but in the very same bed. They are literally on top of each other — and they begged us to allow it. Gosh, I’m so glad that I built a house where everyone has their very own bedroom (eyeroll.)



Today was mostly fine with the usual moments of frustration. E had a 9 a.m. class party on Zoom — she attended in her pyjamas with bed head. N did a few pages of multiplication drills. In the afternoon we both climbed into his loft bed to practice his Hebrew reading. I don’t know if it was the comfy bed, the slow rate at which he reads, or the lacklustre plot — You know the type:

Daddy is at home.
Mommy is at home.
Rachel is at home.
Moshe is at home.

…anyhow, I fell asleep.

I tried to set R up to work online with a friend this morning. Ah, French. The language we all have to learn but nobody can speak. I translated the instructions for R and her friend and showed them the very nice vocabulary sheet the teacher had sent them, which contained pretty much all the answers. R still couldn’t do it. Since I draw a hard line at actually doing my kids’ homework myself, I said something encouraging and then walked away. I’m pretty sure she still hasn’t done it.

On the upside, my children are starting to do things that kids used to do all the time. They probably spent two hours playing pirates in the backyard again today, using sticks and lumber scraps as swords and treasure chests. Immersive, imaginative play is the kind of thing that seems to get shunted aside when school is in session. More’s the pity. Our kids need more play, not less. It’s almost enough to make me decide to homeschool them all.

And K… wow. She’s doing the work she needs to do, swinging outside or in the attic, texting her friends, and generally being pretty easygoing about everything. It’s a March Miracle. This is a far cry from the girl who once got right in my face and yelled, without a trace of irony, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YELLED AT ALL THE TIME!” Though that younger K was a far better source of comedic blogging material, I’m glad to have her older, more mature counterpart living with us.

But back to today.

Feeling a sense of urgency due to the earlier sunrise and the need for better curtains in my bedroom, I worked on the Makery cleanup. I had no idea that sorting screws could be so meditative. Wood screws, deck screws, pocket hole screws, self-drilling screws, machine screws, sheet metal screws… I have a ton of them. I only sorted maybe half today. Tomorrow, first kid to say the “B” word (“bored”) has to sort and organize our screw collection.

You know how I said three of my children were sleeping in the same bed tonight? I lied. They’re not sleeping. I’m wondering (as I often do) whether I should go in there and shut the pyjama party down, or whether I should pretend I can’t hear them (THUMP) and enjoy a nice cup of tea (GIGGLES) in peace and quiet (BUMP).

Or maybe I’ll just go join them. My afternoon nap in that bed was very nice. Maybe there’s room for one more?


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